Resources for the Apple /// personal computer

Apple /// Personal Computer System

January 2012 update: you can now download the Washington Apple Pi Apple /// DVD in dmg (4.2 gigabyte Macintosh disc image format). Note that it is a huge file. You can either burn it to a DVD using Apple's Disk Utility or you can mount it in the Finder simply by double-clicking on it. Many of the files are in Stuffit archives, and require Stuffit Expander (available from the Apple Mac App store for free). Some of the files only work with Mac OS Classic (i.e., pre-Mac OS X). It is our intent to provide these files in smaller, more digestible clumps over the coming months.

Also available: Apple III training videos


The Apple /// was the first computer designed and manufactured by Apple as a company. It was ahead of its time but suffered from many early mistakes (it was too expensive, early versions didn't work well, and people complained there wasn't enough software) that ultimately doomed it to become a footnote in Apple's history.

Apple III system as sold on Ebay The Apple /// had a major impact on Apple however, since it was introduced just prior to the IBM PC. Had the /// really worked from the beginning, it may well have helped move businesses to a higher level Apple machine, and paved the way for the Lisa and Macintosh. As it was, Apple spent a lot of time and effort trying to make the /// "right" after a disastrous start in 1980. By 1983, the /// was fixed - not only did it did work as advertised, but it made money for Apple. But it was all too little, too late, and the machine was discontinued a few months after the Macintosh was released in 1984.

Luckily, user groups like Washington Apple Pi and a small group of vendors continued the cause long after the /// stopped production. Today, WAP as an organization no longer supports Apple II family machines, including the Apple /// (though there are members like me who do continue to provide support when needed).

That said, Washington Apple Pi now offers the new Apple /// DVD Archive - 4 GB of information about the /// that includes the Pi's entire Apple /// disk library in ADT (Apple Disk Transfer) format. See what's in the DVD in this PDF file. See the media release about the Apple /// DVD Archive.

Watch for our Apple /// tutorial DVD (on two disks) with other Apple /// material on the Pi Store as well. In December, 2003 I wrote an article about this two-set DVD that is also available for download as a PDF file.

If you'd like more information, feel free to e-mail: apple3info@verizon.net.

Also check out http://www.apple3.org for a number of Apple /// files. If you're interested in joining the Apple /// Discussion Group - send an e-mail to Jeff Marraccini at jeff.marraccini@mac.com.

The A3 FAQ file (which includes a complete Apple /// history) is currently at version 5.2. You might also find my history of the Pi's /// SIG interesting. I hope you enjoy them!

- Dave Ottalini
Apple /// SIG Chairman

Other resources

[Apple III] Interested in trying out an Apple /// emulator? It's not perfect and still could use some work, but Chris Smolinski of Blackcat Systems gave it a go a few years ago. You can see what he accomplished at his Apple III emulator site.
Programmers interested in bringing the /// to other platforms are welcome to contact a3info@verizon.net.